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Royal College of Occupational Therapists

We are the professional body of occupational therapists.

27 September 2018
Membership Organisations, Health, Care

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

The British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) and College of Occupational Therapists (COT) are the professional body and trade union for occupational therapy staff, researchers, educators and students in the United Kingdom. COT supports members:

  • In knowledge management, particularly in the areas of research and development, research governance and information management.
  • In practice with expert resources and guidance and by defining standards for the profession.
  • By producing COT-driven strategies to promote excellence in practice and client-centred care 
  • Through involving them in developing and promoting the profession.

The College of Occupational Therapists plays an active and visible role in the development of improving services for people living with dementia. Current actions to support this include: attendance at relevant conferences; promotion of materials to educate and promote best practice for people living with dementia; provision of web based materials to support NICE guidance; response to consultations and briefings on the dementia strategy; involvement in the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme and working with other organisations and professional bodies- for example reviewing and updating a number of Alzheimer's Society factsheets. COT works alongside and supports the Specialist Section for Older People that hosts a clinical forum for dementia. 

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

The two main challenges for the College of Occupational Therapists will involve:

  • Empowering members, regardless of clinical setting or specialty, to feel confident to work effectively and safely with people living with dementia, their families and carers.
  • Challenging society's acceptance that people living with dementia cannot be supported to lead meaningful and active lives.

2. Actions

  • Increasing dementia awareness to OT staff

    Promoting awareness and understanding of dementia to occupational therapy staff working within acute, medical and community services. 

    Action: A resource consisting of a series of documents that will cover areas  of care ranging from assessments, delirium, feeding, homes visits and  discharge planning. Each document will contain a summary of evidence and standards and signpost further reading and resources. To be completed by December 2011.

    Action: Providing training to occupational therapists working in general hospitals to increase their knowledge of dementia- focusing on gaining knowledge of who the person is, communication, enhancing the environment, offering opportunities to be active and enabling risk.


    2013 - Second Quarter Update

    Ongoing training for occupational therapy staff and new resources available to occupational therapists on the BAOT website.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    On going training offered to occupational therapy staff including study events, master classes and networking events.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    Progress: First 2 Clinical Forum Briefings on Meaningful Activity and Dementia, Delirium and Depression now available to members.

  • Promote an understanding of the nature of occupation and occupational therapists

    Promote an understanding of the nature of occupation and its importance to health and wellbeing and the contribution that occupational therapists make to services for people living with dementia. Actions:

    Completion of leaflets for the public explaining role of occupational therapy.

    Involvement in the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme through Membership of the Standards Development Group and Accreditation Committee. 


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Update and review of materials for the public.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    Ongoing involvement with MSNAP.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    Ongoing involvement with MSNAP.

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    Occupational therapy helping people to live with dementia published and available.

  • Supporting Occupational therapy practitioners

    Support occupational therapy practitioners to extend the scope of their practice beyond the boundaries of statutory health and social care services to meet the wider occupational needs of individuals living with dementia. For example: within care homes.


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Production of resources for occupational therapists on dementia friendly and age friendly communities outlining the role occupational therapists can play in implementing features to improve accessibility to local communities. City councils have been contacted outling the expertise occupational therapy teams within thier local authorities can offer in regard to addressing social isolation, access, housing adaptations and other features for achieving an accessible and supportive community.

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    Ongoing action: supporting the work and highlighting the expertise of occupational therapists in establishing age friendly and dementia friendly features within communities.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    Developing a new online resource designed to equip care homes with ideas and materials to provide a service focused on residents’ needs, preferences and activity choices, and to support residents, their family and friends and care home staff to shape the life of the home.

    NAPA on external reference group for Living Well through Activity in Care Homes.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    Ongoing commitment to conferences.

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    Ongoing commitment to conferences.

  • Supporting occupational therapy practice

    Continued delivery of materials and training to occupational therapists on various aspects of care.

    Being implemented

    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Masterclasses and study events on topics such as reablement for people with dementia.Ongoing development of resources for occupational therapists e.g. Practice briefings - Discharge planning for people with dementia, Assistive technology, adapting environments.Articles in OT news on best practice examples and updates on national developments.Collecting and sharing case studies to disseminate best practice examples